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  #1  
Old 06-24-2017, 07:50 AM
Sawdusthappy Sawdusthappy is offline
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Scale materials from Mexico?

Hey Guys,
I am headed to Mexico for vacation. And I am wondering if there is a wood or bone that is available in mexico that may not be available in the US? Or maybe leather for sheaths?

Thanks for the input!
Ed
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  #2  
Old 06-24-2017, 08:16 AM
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Ray Rogers Ray Rogers is offline
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They might have some lizard or snake skin that you could use on a sheath. Be sure you know what it is when you see it though, you wouldn't want to cross the border with some kind of endangered species skin.

Of course they will have leather. If it is locally tanned be sure it is vegetable tanned, not chemically tanned. Some primitive tanning processes leave a bad odor in the leather, avoid that.

Don't buy any ivory as it certainly won't be a native product and will surely be a problem at the border.

If you buy wood get finished blocks or boards. Anything with bark on it could be a problem at the border.

Old files and such are a crap shoot but if you find Nicholson or Black Diamond they could be worth the trouble...


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  #3  
Old 06-24-2017, 08:29 AM
dtec1 dtec1 is offline
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Yeh I know I said I have no clue as a response in email. But thinking about it I don't think there is much that you could get there that you CANT get here. The only things that might be a lil different maybe cheaper would be the natural stuff like antler and bone that sorta thing. BUT as ray said no matter what you get make sure its legit coming home with "animal parts" could be a pain if you don't know 100% what it is...some materials and the cheaper stuff would most likely be gotten by poachers and they could sell you one thing saying its another you could end up trying to bring something illegal over the border with out even knowing... be carefull
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  #4  
Old 06-24-2017, 09:08 AM
Sawdusthappy Sawdusthappy is offline
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Thanks for the feedback! I will be sure to keep it all in mind! I will post pictured of anything I find.
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  #5  
Old 06-29-2017, 02:26 AM
jimmontg jimmontg is offline
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Sawdust keep an eye out for armadillo skins. Damon who posts on here has made some very good looking handles with the hides.

http://https://www.flickr.com/photos...s/16328362734/

https://www.flickr.com/photos/oiseau...ts/8346724585/

Take a look and if you see some I would like a few square inches.lol
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  #6  
Old 07-04-2017, 06:03 AM
Sawdusthappy Sawdusthappy is offline
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It was a total bust. I went to 5 different leather and skin places and they were more expensive than ordering online. And as for armadillo skins they were 500 bucks for the whole skin. I found some nice wood for scales, it was confiscated by airport security....
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Old 07-04-2017, 06:39 AM
dtec1 dtec1 is offline
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Haha.... Yep that is what I ment by be carefull what you bring back a lot of natural materials are not allowed back into the states. Do you know what type of wood it was....just because YOU couldn't bring it back doesn't mean that companies haven't found a way to get it back here...you might be able to order it
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  #8  
Old 07-04-2017, 07:42 AM
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Ray Rogers Ray Rogers is offline
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Sorry to hear that, Ed. That's even worse than I would have imagined ...


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  #9  
Old 07-04-2017, 08:21 AM
dtec1 dtec1 is offline
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The part I didn't expect was the leather was more expensive. That I thought it would have been cheaper. But with natural materials you have to expect customs to give you a hard time. One of my sisters every year she would go to a different beach town in mexico. 90% of the time she tried to bring stuff back it was taken....she had a pass time of doing different crafts so she would try and bring back stuff like a leaf from a plant we don't have here. The most ridiculous was....ok well the sand down there is really white compared to what we have....she said every area had a slightly different color. When she found the whitest sand she had ever seen she put some in a glass jar NOT a lot maybe 4 or 5 oz. They took that....really sand? but she said there reasoning is there can be lil microscopic bugs in the sand....and I think that's kinda the reason they do it cause any natural material does have a unknown factor to it...maybe there could have been lil bugs in that wood...probilly not but maybe
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  #10  
Old 07-04-2017, 01:10 PM
Sawdusthappy Sawdusthappy is offline
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Yeah. It was rough. They confiscated some chechen wood and granadillo. It had a really nice grain pattern. I was looking forward to making some kitchen utensils and scales out of it. They also took my t year old's rocks she got while we were at the beach. She was devastated and cried. Next time I am just going to fedex it to myself!
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  #11  
Old 07-04-2017, 05:05 PM
WNC Goater WNC Goater is offline
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Curious, did you declare it on the Customs form or did they just find it in your luggage?


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  #12  
Old 07-07-2017, 07:50 AM
Sawdusthappy Sawdusthappy is offline
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It was declared. It was wrapped and I even had paperworm from the store I got it from showing how it was "prepared" for travel so it was safe to take across the border. I believe the official wanted me to bribe him so to leave our luggage alone. But I refused to do so. So he took everything he could from us. I asked for his manager but none was available at 5am :s
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  #13  
Old 07-07-2017, 09:23 AM
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Ed Caffrey Ed Caffrey is offline
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Customs has become a really sticky situation, no mater where you're going, or where you're coming from. I had a situation several years ago when I was scheduled to teach a Bladesmithing course in Canada. My host supposedly sent in all the required paperwork/permits to the Border crossing I would be going through.

When I arrived at the border and stated where I was going, and what I was doing, I was directed "inside". That's where I was told the paperwork was not in order, and I would need to contact my host to clear it up. I tried for more then 3 hours to contact him, with no luck, and finally asked the Border Agent if I could just go back home, straighten it out, and come back the next morning (I only live 1 1/2 hours south of the Canadian border). I was told "Sure!". So that's what I did. That's were things went south. I went home, got the paperwork figured out, and went back the next morning. When I pulled up to the Border crossing station I was asked "Have you ever been denied entry to Canada?" To which I answer "No"...... That's when the Agent told me that his computer said I had been denied entry into Canada the day prior!

So now, for the last 5+ years, I have been trying to get that notation cleared, with no success. Now EVERY time I show up at the Canadian border, it's a minimum of 2 hours inside the Border Station, being treated like a criminal, having my truck emptied out/searched, and being asked the same questions by at least three different Agents.
During one trip I had an ammo can of anhydrous borax (welding flux), which they "searched' by dumping it out on the parking lot, having a dog sniff it, then telling me "you need to clean that up".... luckily I had a small shovel and broom in the truck . They do the same thing when they search a vehicle....empty it out, spread it across the parking lot, and when they're done, walk away and tell you to "Ok, you can repack your vehicle."
Unless you want a LOT of heartache/hassle, and enjoy having things confiscated, don't even try to bring ANYTHING back that you didn't take with you! I've been crossing the Canadian border back and forth for the last quarter century, and within the last decade it's just become a nightmare. Border Protection personnel for the most part are great folks, but it always seems that I end up with one or more who have a "god" complex, and they are just a pain in the butt to deal with, and make me dread crossing the Border.


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  #14  
Old 07-07-2017, 01:12 PM
WNC Goater WNC Goater is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ed Caffrey View Post
So now, for the last 5+ years, I have been trying to get that notation cleared, with no success. Now EVERY time I show up at the Canadian border, it's a minimum of 2 hours inside the Border Station, being treated like a criminal, having my truck emptied out/searched, and being asked the same questions by at least three different Agents.

During one trip I had an ammo can of anhydrous borax (welding flux), which they "searched' by dumping it out on the parking lot, having a dog sniff it, then telling me "you need to clean that up".... luckily I had a small shovel and broom in the truck . They do the same thing when they search a vehicle....empty it out, spread it across the parking lot, and when they're done, walk away and tell you to "Ok, you can repack your vehicle."

I've been crossing the Canadian border back and forth for the last quarter century, and within the last decade it's just become a nightmare.

... and they are just a pain in the butt to deal with, and make me dread crossing the Border.
Because of the big problem they have with all the illegals from the US trying to sneak across the southern border into Canada?

So Ed, obviously the question begs, "Why do you bother?" It would take me about two incidences before Canada would be marked off my list of places I needed to go.

Years ago my wife, a high school teacher, took a bunch of kids to a national conference in Detroit. They crossed into Windsor Canada, and upon returning, had to go through US Customs. They were on a bus with kids and teachers from several schools. The agent asked if everyone was a US citizen. When they discovered one was not, a foreign exchange student, they removed the student who was a minor, and interrogated her by herself not allowing her teacher to be present.

Its amazing the energy expended hassling law abiding citizens while turning a blind eye to illegal entry.


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  #15  
Old 07-07-2017, 02:59 PM
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I keep returning to Canada just because of all the great friends I have there. They are some of the nicest people to hang around with, and probably the one thing that keeps me teaching there is the fact that EVERYBODY is like a sponge.... In all the times I've taught in Canada, I've not once heard anyone in the audience shout "That's not the right way to do it!"

I just like the people and the good attitudes they put forth.


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